Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mill Ruins Park

It's been awhile, but Danny and I met this morning and enjoyed walking the Minneapolis paths near the Mill Ruins Park.

This park is nestled along side the Mississippi river at the Stone Arch Bridge.


Happy Hunting!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Northshore Weekend Trip: Artist's Point

Danny and I went on an photo adventure trip along the North Shore of Minnesota last week-end (October 4th and 5th, 2014).  North-East Minnesota boarders Lake Superior, and people here call this the "North Shore".  It was spectacular!  Our first stop was Grand Marais, Artists Point: "Artist's Point" is the name of a small penninsula of rock that forms a double harbor.  We arrived on a cloudy and cold day, but the moisture in the air deepened fall colors in the leaves and lichen.

There are few places better to reflect and connect with nature.

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

F-stops in a macro bug's life!

F-stops in a Macro Bug's Life.

While at Battle Creek Park in St. Paul, Robin began to teach me the third part of the light triangle changing my F-stop (which stands for Focal Length or aperture.)   F-stops show a ratio of the relationship of focal length to lens opening to be technical, but for those of us who are technically challenged the f-stop is how much light the camera will let into the lens.  So the higher the F-stop number the less light so there is need adjust your shutter speed and ISO for optimum light.  Here are some examples of different changes in light by changing the the f-stop and shutter speed. 

F5.6 shutter speed 100 ISO 200
F7.1  shutter speed 250 ISO 200

F5.6 shutter speed 400 ISO 200

This is the hardest part of the light triangle, and I'm still figuring it out.  If you are too this is the park to work with f-stops and light.  It is large and has so many different parts to the park and each part the sunlight is way different. There is a forest, a creek, a prairie, a pond, walking trails, off road trails, and playgrounds.   The best part of this is the bugs pose for the pictures.  They are pretty well trained for photographers.  So have fun and explore the wonders of nature.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Minneopa State Park

Thursday, June 5th, 2014, Danny and I set out to explore Minneopa State Park.  This park is near Mankato, MN.  Our map landed us at an entrance that was closed.  However, near the entrance was parking to see the upper falls.  From the parking, it looks like a bridge.  The falls are visible from the bridge.  It was beautiful.  This also gave an opportunity to take some time to discuss and demonstrate experimenting with ISO settings.  

There was an informational note on the bridge:  Evidently, a century ago, the falls would have been on the other side of the bridge.  Erosion moved the falls that much.
We then set out for the main park.  This park requires a state permit to enter (worth the cost.)  A larger falls can be seen here.  Minneopa creek tumbles down a smaller 8 ft drop, then falls nearly 40 feet into a luscious gorge.  
We opted to take the scenic route to the bottom of Minneopa Falls.  The green on the gorge walls on the way down was enchanting.  Imaginably something of a fairies paradise. At the bottom of the falls, more lush scenery presented itself.  Truly a gorgeous park, worth the trip.
View 'UP' from bottom of falls

Happy Hunting! 

Robin and Danny

Friday, June 6, 2014

Waterfalls and hiking wow!

Dear Robin,

Wow!  What a wonderful day exploring parks and my camera with you.  Today the lesson for the camera was the second corner of the "triangle of light" as you call it.  Last time we worked with just speed of the camera.  This time we worked with ISO and the speed of the camera.  What a difference it made on the lighting by just changing the ISO.  I can't wait until I learn the third corner of the "triangle of light". 

ISO 100, speed 1/200
ISO 200/speed 1/200
ISO 400/speed 1/200
ISO 800/speed 1/200

ISO 1600/speed 1/200

It also help to have a wonderful park (Minneopa Park in Mankato, MN) to explore. 
ISO 200/speed 1/200
ISO 400/speed 1/200
ISO 800/speed 1/250
ISO 800/speed 1/320

manual ISO 800/speed 1/160/F9


Being so close to the  base of the waterfall with it's white sandy shoreline (from the limestone wall etchings) was like being on a tropical island.  So beautiful of a park and the limestone rock wall with it's covering of etchings and moss made me feel like I was in fairyland looking up to the world.  Can't wait to explore when  it's not raining so we can work on composition and angles to show the fairy's viewpoint.  Thanks for a wonderful day and I'm glad we pick this park.


Danny Britts-Osterlund
Your student

Fully automated ISO 800/speed 1/200/ F8

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tale of Two Parks

So another great adventure with Robin.  We worked with speed of the camera to let in light. I learned how to get more detail by changing the speed of the camera so that we would always have the proper light on our meter.   The pictures below show just what happens with the light when you change just the speed.


The two parks today were very different, but ever so the same.  Here is the tale of two parks:
The city park(Eloise Butler Wildflower Gardens).
Although in the city; you feel as if you are lost in the wilderness.  All around you the sounds of cars fade away to turkey gobbles, and bird calls. This is truly a sanctuary in the city.  The programs for kids are outstanding.  They have a "do it yourself" Jr. Nature Detective backpack that gives you all the tools to do a nature scavenger hunt with maps, compass, and identifying books.  Once you have completed the activities in the guide book your child gets a badge.  My 4 year old was so excited when she received her bag she immediately had me arrange play dates with her cousins to take them there to get there own badges. This is a great place so close that you can take your lunch break and feel refreshed for the rest of the day.  When I don't have time to go to the country you will find me in the wilderness of the city at this park.
 and the country park (U of M Landscape Arboretum).
So I've never seen a turkey at the Arboretum, but I have heard the birds like at Eloise Butler.  There are more similarities than differences between the city and this country park.  They both have great children's activity.  The Arboretum has a giant sand play area with water pipes and tools so the little ones can build irrigation systems. There's little houses all over the grounds for the kids to play house.  Some are equipped with brooms and other tools.  There is a little reading library outside with a natural sitting area.  There is also a stage for the little ones to put on plays, and don't forget the maze.  This is a large place to explore, but to me it feels to groomed, and not like you are in the wilderness.  It is a great place to learn about plants, and to get in shape.  This is a country park that is all city.  Even if you plan a day trip you will need at least three days to explore all this place has to offer.  It is one of my favorite venues for it's shear beauty and knowledge it gives.  When my family has a full day with nothing to do you will find us here teaching our 4 year old about plants.
I hope you explore these parks and send us your pictures or better yet come tag along with us and share your knowledge with us.  Robin as usual thank you for helping me develop :> my photography skills.  This lesson was truly remarkable.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

entrance gate
Monday, May 5th, 2014, Danny and I headed to a lesser known park located at Theodore Wirth Parkway and Glenwood Ave.  This oldest public wildflower garden in the nation had her beginnings in 1907.

This park is wealth!  Aside from the many native wildflowers along paths in an enclosed 15 acre garden, there are a number of educational opportunities available here.
Cut-Leaved Toothwort
There are staff on hand to answer questions at the Martha Crone Visitor Center.  While on our trip we saw several varieties of wildflower and birds.   While on our walk, a wild turkey crossed our path.  The volunteers tried to herd it away.  Turkeys sometime scratch the ground and dig up wildflowers.

False Rue Anemone

We met other walkers as well.  Some were on a guided tour and learning classes.  This gentleman is Gilbert Ward, another fellow photographer.  He was a treasure of photography tips for us.

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden is indeed a must-see hidden gem within the metro area.

White Trout Lily

"Life will be richer by the discovery of beauty that we have hitherto passed unheeding." ~ Eloise Butler

Happy Hunting!

Danny and Robin